It’s a fact that most of us don’t get the daily dose of calcium that we need. Calcium is essential for strong bones and healthy teeth. It’s also used by the body to help muscles, nerves and other tissues carry out important functions. Many people suffer from calcium deficiency and aren’t even aware of it. The symptoms include:
Muscle Cramps, Especially in the Legs. Your body needs to absorb calcium daily in order to allow muscles to function. The calcium found in your blood plays a major role in aiding muscle contractions. Without it, you’ll suffer cramps and Charlie horses.
Bone Pain or Tenderness. Because calcium is so essential to bone strength, you may experience pain or tenderness in your bones. Calcium forms the glue that holds them together.
Skin, Teeth and Nails. Some early warning signs of calcium deficiency include brittle fingernails, yellow teeth and dry skin.
Irritability and Sleep Disturbances. You may feel irritable or nervous. You may also have trouble sleeping at night. This is because calcium aids your nerve fibers in sending and receiving information. Without the right calcium, they can’t carry out this important function. This is why calcium deficiency may also cause depression, anxiety, trembling and confusion.
Back or Neck Pain. This pain is actually caused by spinal bone fractures. This is a fairly advanced symptom and it means that you are at an especially high risk for osteoporosis.
Stooped Posture and Loss of Height. In older people, there may develop a stooped posture. This is caused by the spine weakening and curving over time. As you get older, your body stops absorbing calcium as effectively, so it takes more to meet your body’s needs.
Irregular Heartbeat and Palpitations. An advanced symptom that means your condition might be life-threatening is irregular heartbeat. Calcium helps muscles contract smoothly and this includes the muscles around your heart. If you suffer from this symptom, get help immediately.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Calcium
Children are particularly at risk. Calcium helps them build healthy bones and teeth, and without sufficient amounts, they’ll suffer problems their entire life. For adults, calcium deficiency can lead to brittle bones and more bone breaks. It can also weaken your teeth and make you more susceptible to cavities and breaks. In the long term, it could lead to dentures at a young age and osteoporosis.
If you’re suffering from a calcium deficiency, you can easily make minor changes to your diet that can produce great results. Consume more dairy, leafy green vegetables and other foods that are rich in calcium. Look into calcium-fortified foods and beverages, and consider taking calcium supplements. Most importantly, see a doctor and seek their advice on getting the calcium you need.
For more information then see our article on Calcium Rich Foods >